The findings of The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI exit poll, if borne out when the result of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is announced, illustrate an overwhelming desire for change that nobody had foreseen.
The victory for the Yes campaign looks set to be neither narrow nor based on a few segments of Irish society. Rather, it will be carried high on the shoulders of a majority across the entire country.
Aside from the thumping majority in favour of repeal, the most striking aspect of the exit poll is the uniform strength of the Yes vote across all regions and ages, except voters aged above 65.
In all, 68 per cent are in favour of Repeal, with 32 per cent against. In Dublin, 77 per cent voted Yes; 66 per cent in the rest of Leinster; 66 per cent in Munster and even 59 per cent in Connacht/Ulster, traditionally seen as the most conservative region of the country.
Campaigners on both sides reported back from canvasses that the old assumptions about the urban-rural divide would be proved wrong, but even then such predictions were based on No still winning in rural Ireland. The change from the past was to be that the pro-choice vote would be a larger minority, but would still be a minority.
Excellent. Some good analysis of the implications of the vote from Sarah Jaffe here. And yes:
With the Irish vote looking like it's going to be a landslide for yes, it's really stunning how much of an outlier American red states are in the rest of the Western world.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) May 25, 2018
The final polls showed the "yes" side in the Irish abortion referendum—a "yes" vote would authorize Ireland's parliament to legalize abortion—ahead by an average of 20-25 points. The UK media, claiming there was a "shy" no vote, predicted a close race. So guess what happened? pic.twitter.com/R95WgkLsnA
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 25, 2018
As we discussed with respect to the French election, it’s really time to dispense with this idea that there’s some kind of Enoch Powell Effect of shy right-wingers not being counted in polls. There’s no evidence for it at all. Even the anecdotes used to support the theory — Trump and Brexit — are examples of people refusing to believe polls, not bad polling. It’s all just bullshit.